Throughout this time of uncertainty, we have seen many restrictions placed on the population of New Zealand.
One, that has affected the Christian community has been the restrictions on the size of people gathering.
While Churches have been compliant and have gone along with this restriction, they have found other ways of reaching their congregations via live streaming of services which have been successful for some, others not.
As we look towards the end of lockdowns, we are hearing of the introduction of a vaccine passport which essentially creates a two-tier situation for the haves and have nots.
I think it would be fair to say that most Christians are watching this development very closely, asking themselves: Is this the mark of the Beast”.
It’s a question I am not prepared to answer at this stage, but suggest you use your own discernment based on your own knowledge and interpretation of the scriptures.
But the vaccine passport is … well to call it inconvenient is perhaps a bit light.
To say that I cannot join my vaccinated friends for a coffee is a travesty or to be seated in a section marked for the unvaccinated is abhorrent to the leper that I am.
Coffee aside, how might this impact potentially on the church.?
Looking at the way separation is being mooted in government circles this would be impossible from a theological perspective.
This is something that would be unacceptable from the perspective of the Church, and indeed it would be a contradiction of the message of the Gospel.
The thought that someone would be barred from coming to church to hear the gospel is abhorrent.
I hope and pray that no church in New Zealand would do it.
You know our churches are full of the vulnerable and the weird, the wacky that’s who Jesus attracts, isn’t it?
We have people who are very vulnerable within our congregations.
It would be difficult and, to just think that we would demand proof that they’ve been vaccinated is outrageous.
Look at the very nature of the message of Christianity.
It is for the outcasts. It is it is for the vulnerable.
It is for all, and so yes, it’s utter madness if churches are asked to bar people who are unvaccinated.
I would hope no church worth its salt would even countenance such a thing.
I have seen reports of churches in places in the US with sections for the vaccinated and unvaccinated
It’s so shocking that that’s such a thing could even be.
Let’s get back to some sort of sense of proportion for Covid 19 disease, which we know now has a fatality rate in the range of influenza, which has always been with us and will always be with us.
To have the state say who you can and cannot have in your church is wrong on every level.
There are all sorts of serious theological issues here as well, aren’t there?
Just to name one, which is just very, obvious, is that Jesus Christ himself.
Part of the reason he was so scandalous to people is because of his relationship.
Examples in the Gospel of Jesus laying his hands on people with leprosy and healing them, making them clean as it were, and Matthew Chapter 8 for example, Jesus comes down from the mountain side with large crowds following him and a man with leprosy came and knelt before him.
He asked Lord are you willing to make me clean
Jesus reached out, his hands touched the man saying, I’m willing, be clean.
It seems to me to be highly problematic, to say that the Christian Church as followers of Christ, we should theoretically even ban people who are potentially infectious.
It would be a denial in many ways of the very heart of God, as it’s revealed to us in the incarnation, and then another message, the central message of the gospel, which is the gospel is for everyone.
It’s not just for people who have been vaccinated. It’s not for people who are safe, but it’s for absolutely all.
To deny people access, to turn them away, it surely must be absolutely unthinkable.
I would be very uncomfortable in the future where certain churches may require people, to prove that they’ve had a negative test.
It would be wrong to put a barrier up for those seeking Christ.
It should be the church and not the state to decide who should be welcome into Gods House.
To any pastor, priest, minister, Church elder.
When the time comes, I urge you to stand firm, to speak out and to proclaim the true gospel is for everyone, not just some.